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A Theory of Medecine Effectiveness, Differential Mortality, Income Inequality and Growth for Pre-Industrial England

  • David, DE LA CROIX

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)

  • Alessandro, SOMMACAL

We study how mortality reductions and income growth interact, looking at their relationship prior to the Industrial Revolution, when income per capita was stagnant. We first present a model of individual medical spending giving a rationale for individual health expenditures even when medecine was not effective in postponing death. We then explain the rise of effective medecine by a learning process function of expenditures in health. The rise in effective medicine can then be linked to the take-off of the eighteenth century through life expectancy increases, and fostered capital accumulation. The rise of effective medecine has also an impact on the relation between growth and inequality and on the intergenerational persistence of differences in income. These channels are operative through differential mortality induced by medecine effectiveness that turns out to determines a differential in the propensity to save among income groups

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques in its series Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) with number 2006025.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvec:2006025
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  1. Nicolini, Esteban A., 2004. "Mortality, interest rates, investment, and agricultural production in 18th century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 130-155, April.
  2. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & DE LA CROIX, David & LICANDRO, Omar, . "Early mortality declines at the dawn of modern growth," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1681, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Climent, Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2003. "Human Capital Inequality, Life Expectancy and Economic Growth," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 46, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2003. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 755-777, 05.
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  8. Shankha Chakraborty & Mausumi Das, 2003. "Mortality, Human Capital and Persistent Inequality," Working papers 119, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  9. Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Jie & Lee, Ronald, 2001. "Mortality decline and long-run economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 485-507, June.
  10. Olivier F. Morand, 2002. "Economic Growth, Longevity, and the Epidemiological Transition," Working papers 2002-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  11. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2005. "Human capital formation, life expectancy, and the process of development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20083, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Aaron S. Edlin and Chris Shannon., 1995. "Strict Monotonicity in Comparative Statics," Economics Working Papers 95-238, University of California at Berkeley.
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  15. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1999. "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 255-263, November.
  16. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Macroeconomics 0212008, EconWPA.
  17. Shankha Chakraborty, 2002. "Endogenous Lifetime and Economic Growth," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-03, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 26 Jan 2002.
  18. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "The Political Economy of the Kuznets Curve," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 183-203, June.
  19. Fogel, Robert W., 1993. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
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